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Common Capital’s Community First Fund Expanded to $1 Million

HOLYOKE — Having raised a half-million dollars on word of mouth alone, the Community First Fund is now publicly pushing to reach $1 million before the end of the year.

The fund is managed by Common Capital Inc., a nonprofit that finances and assists small businesses. The fund is comprised of loans by people in Western Mass. who utilize their savings to help launch or expand local businesses. Investors receive a 2% return over the three-year term of the loan and then have the option of rolling it back into the fund. An investor’s return is not tied to the repayment ability of Common Capital’s borrowers, but is a general obligation of the organization. The fund accepts loans ranging from $500 to $50,000.

“The key to creating more well-paying jobs and other opportunities is to put local money into the local economy,” said Chris Sikes, CEO of Common Capital, which has been financing small business for 25 years as well as providing hands-on help in accounting, human resources, marketing, and other business areas. “Much like we strive to buy from local farmers, we also see real, positive results when we partner with local businesses.”

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